'They Crucified Me': Georgia Dem Defects to the GOP

July 11, 2023

A Georgia lawmaker announced she switched parties to become a Republican, continuing a trend of Democrats abandoning the party in state houses across the country.

Mesha Mainor, who joined the House in 2021, on Tuesday announced her departure from the Democratic Party following her colleagues' criticism of her decision to back a school choice bill.

"When I decided to stand up on behalf of disadvantaged children in support of school choice, my Democrat colleagues didn’t stand by me," Mainor told Fox News Digital.

She added that members of her former party "crucified" and "abandoned" her and that it was a "moral" decision.

"For decades, the Democrat Party has received the support of more than 90 percent of the black community," Mainor said. "And what do we have to show for it? I represent a solidly blue district in the city of Atlanta. This isn’t a political decision for me. It’s a moral one."

Mainor pointed to schools in her district where there is a 3 percent reading proficiency rate and students are unable to do simple math. The bill she supported, Georgia Senate Bill 233, failed to pass despite her vote but would have given vouchers to students in failing schools to support their moves to private schools or homeschooling.

Mainor is just the latest Democrat to make the switch. Four other state-level Democrats have left the party since March.

Elliott Pritt, a freshman representative from West Virginia, switched in April because he said he could "no longer continue supporting or advocating for issues that the vast majority of my constituents do not support."

"There is very little room in the party for traditional values or differences regarding political opinion," Pritt said in a letter to the state’s House Democratic Caucus.

Louisiana lost two Democrats in March and April. Representatives Jeremey LaCombe and Francis Thompson joined Republicans and granted the GOP a supermajority in the legislature. Thomas had served as a Democrat for nearly 50 years.

Tricia Cotham, a representative from 2007 to 2017 who entered the North Carolina House again in January, switched to the GOP earlier this year, saying the "modern-day Democratic Party has become unrecognizable to me."

She said the party bullied and tried to "control" her, personally attacking her children. Cotham's party change gave state House Republicans the 72 votes they need to override a veto from Democratic governor Roy Cooper.

Published under: Georgia